Prosecutors urge court to reject ex-Russian soldier's appeal

AP News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 8:18 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors are urging a federal court to deny an appeal by a former Russian military tank commander convicted of leading a Taliban attack on U.S. forces.

In a brief filed Tuesday, prosecutors asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject Irek Hamidullin's argument that he was a prisoner of war and shouldn't be tried in civilian court.

Prosecutors say Hamidullin led insurgents in a 2009 attack on Afghan border police and U.S. soldiers.

Hamidullin was sentenced to life in prison in December on charges including providing material support to terrorism and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Hatch said in his brief that Hamidullin shouldn't be considered a lawful combatant because, among other things, the conflict in Afghanistan was not "an international armed conflict."